Trump’s air force kills ISIS’ prisoners

Map of Syria

Recently, United States President Donald Trump authorized the use for the first time ever of the world’s biggest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan. ‘Against ISIS‘; but among the dead were prisoners of ISIS.

And today, from the BBC:

Syria war: Air strike on IS [ISIS] prison in Mayadin ‘kills dozens’

Almost 60 people have been killed in a suspected US-led coalition air strike on a prison run by so-called Islamic State in eastern Syria, activists say.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 42 prisoners … died when the facility near Mayadin, in Deir al-Zour province, was hit on Monday.

The Deirezzor24 news website said dozens of civilians and [anti ISIS] Syrian rebel fighters were detained there.

A coalition spokesman said it was looking into the casualty reports.

Mayadeen, which lies in the Euphrates river valley about 45km (28 miles) south-east of the city of Deir al-Zour, has been targeted frequently by coalition aircraft. …

The Syrian Observatory, a UK-based group that monitors the country’s six-year civil war through a network of sources on the ground, said the prison was hit at dawn on Monday by what were believed to have been coalition aircraft.

According to Dutch NOS TV, a Syrian pro-Damuscus government TV station has confirmed the report of the anti-Damascus government Observatory, saying ISIS had imprisoned many civilians there.

Deirezzor24, which is run by an activist collective, reported that the facility was located near the village of Tayibiya wa al-Maaharufa, and that it had once been the home of a commander of al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda-linked group now known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. …

It put the death toll at 60, but said it only included two militants serving as guards. …

At the start of June, the coalition said its 21,035 air strikes in Syria and Iraq since 2014 had unintentionally killed at least 484 civilians. However, human rights groups believe the true figure is far higher.

Airwars, an organisation that tracks allegations of civilian deaths, estimates that at least 4,118 civilians are likely to have died.

A US air strike early Monday killed dozens of civilians near the Euphrates River town of Mayadin in Syria’s eastern Deir al-Zour province: here.

Israeli government’s anti-women decision condemned

This video from Israel about Jerusalem says about itself:

PM Netanyahu’s double speak on women’s rights at the Western Wall

30 December 2015

Women of the Wall in response to the report that Prime Minister Netanyahu promised ultra-Orthodox parties that there will be no change of the status quo at the Western Wall:

PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance on women’s rights at the Kotel has gotten lost on translation. In English, in front of cheering crowds at the General Assembly of Jewish Federations of North America last month he said that he will “ensure that all Jews can feel at home in Israel… all Jews” and “ensure that the Kotel is a source of unity for our people, not a point of division.” In Hebrew this week according to Israeli Radio Galei Tzahal, PM Netanyahu has promised the ultra-Orthodox party heads that there will be no change of the status quo at the Kotel and that women will not read Torah at the Kotel.

Apparently when Netanyahu spoke of “all” Jews in November 2015, he forgot that women make up half of all Jews. No Israeli Prime Minister has the right to take away Torah from half of all Jews. It is our hope that Netanyahu will not ban women from reading Torah, however if he does bend to the pressure of the Haredi parties, Women of the Wall will continue to read Torah in the women’s section of the Kotel. Even if we must hide our Torah scroll and smuggle it past the guards, we will do so just as Jews have been forced to do so many times before us in exile.

However, then this video, a few months later, said about itself:

Israel approves mixed sex Jewish prayer site at Western Wall: Reuters

1 February 2016

Compromise Creates Two Western Walls for Two Peoples

Government decision to permit non-Orthodox prayer space recognizes Reform and Conservative Judaism, but overlooks any other form of Judaism, including liberal Orthodoxy.

by Yair Ettinger

Anyone looking for reasons to oppose the new arrangement signed by the Women of the Wall organization, which states that they will be able to pray from now on in the archaeological park also known as the “Southern Wall,” will find them in abundance in the archives, in the words of Women of the Wall themselves.

In February 1996 attorneys representing Women of the Wall wrote to the committee appointed to find a solution to the dispute: “The assumption that there is no way to consider a solution at the Western Wall plaza is extremely unreasonable and discriminatory. The proposal to distance the women from the Western Wall plaza to other places is humiliating and painful, constitutes an order of expulsion from the Jewish people and is an attempt of sorts to turn them into an inferior brand of Jews.”

That was in 2016, over a year ago.

But now … the reasons named by Yair Ettinger to oppose the compromise as not going far enough have become irrelevant, as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has made a U-turn towards more misogyny.

This video from Israel says about itself:

Natan Sharansky slams Netanyahu for abandoning Western Wall plan

26 June 2017

According to Netanyahu now, non-Jewish Donald Trump is welcome to pray at the Western Wall, and Jewish women are not.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Israel: Netanyahu’s U-turn on mixed prayer area condemned

Tuesday 27th June 2017

LEADING zionist body the Jewish Agency cancelled a gala dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday over a U-turn on allowing women to pray at the Wailing Wall.

The agency warned the government’s reversal of plans for a mixed-sex prayer area at the Western Wall near Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque would alienate liberal Jews in the West from their more orthodox brethren in Israel.

Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky

who had proposed the compromise which is now off the table

said the move undermined Jewish unity and urged the government to reverse course.

“This gives a very strong message that you [the diaspora] are not important to us,” he told Israel’s Army Radio.

Dennis Ross, a former top US diplomat and currently chairman of The Jewish People Policy Institute, said he was afraid that US Jews would no longer see Israel as a home.

This video says about itself:

Jewish Group Cancels Netanyahu Dinner Over Western Wall Decision

26 June 2017

A leading Israeli Jewish group has cancelled a gala dinner with Israel’s PM after his government froze plans to upgrade a mixed-gender area for prayer at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.

LGBTQ Pride in Puerto Rico, Latin America

THis video says about itself:

Puerto Rico Rounds Off Gay Pride Month in Latin America

25 June 2017

Latin America has some of the biggest and most radical LGBTI movements in the world. Some countries have progressive equality legislation. But levels of prejudice and violence also remain very high.

British fire dangers, not just Grenfell Tower

This video from England says about itself:

British Grimer Stormzy Demands Justice For Grenfell Tower Fire Victims During Glastonbury Festival 2017 Set.

Residents of tower blocks throughout the UK are living in potential death traps just like the Grenfell Tower block in west London where scores if not hundreds perished on June 14. Initial testing of external cladding on 60 apartment blocks located in 25 local authorities resulted in them all being found to be combustible and failing fire safety tests: here.

Thousands of the poorest residents in north London’s Camden borough were evacuated from their homes this weekend, after fire experts told the local council they could not guarantee the tower blocks they lived in were safe. Cladding on the blocks was carried out by the companies involved in refurbishing Grenfell Tower, west London, which turned into an inferno when a fire in one apartment spread rapidly, resulting in the deaths of at least 79 people: here.

‘London Grenfell Tower victims were murdered’

This video says about itself:

Slam poet, spoken-word artist and contemporary playwright Kate Tempest has delivered a brillant takedown of Tory party leader Theresa May at the Glastonbury Festival 2017.

By Lamiat Sabin and Will Stone, reporting from the Glastonbury music festival:

Grenfell deaths were murder

Monday 26th June 2017

McDonnell castigates decisions which led to disaster

VICTIMS of the Grenfell Tower fire were “murdered” by political decisions made by central and local governments, John McDonnell said yesterday.

Speaking at the Is Democracy Working? debate at the Left Field stage, the shadow chancellor said: “It didn’t work for you if you were a family living on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower. “Those families, those individuals — 79 so far and there will be more — were murdered by political decisions that were taken over recent decades.

“The decision not to build homes and to view housing as only for financial speculation rather than for meeting a basic human need made by politicians over decades murdered those families.

The decision to close fire stations and to cut 10,000 firefighters and then to freeze their pay for over a decade contributed to those deaths inevitably and they were political decisions.”

Hundreds of people in the 24-floor block were killed, displaced and declared “missing” after the fire broke out in Grenfell Tower on June 14.

Some households that did not survive included elderly or disabled people living on the top floors.

PM Theresa May subsequently pledged £5 million to an emergency fund and ordered a public inquiry into the incident, which was exacerbated by shockingly poor fire safety — including silent alarms, only one exit staircase and combustible external cladding.

The tower had recently undergone a £10m refurbishment, which included cladding on the concrete exterior to improve its appearance for wealthier locals that was found to have been £2 cheaper per square metre than a fire-resistant version.

The Metropolitan Police has said that manslaughter charges are being considered by detectives after it was found that cladding and insulation samples failed safety tests.

The government has revealed that around 600 high-rises in England have some form of cladding, and combustible types have been found on at least 34 tower blocks nationwide.

Kensington and Chelsea Council chief executive Nicholas Holgate announced his resignation last Thursday after a barrage of criticism against him and council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown — who is still clinging onto his job — over the authority’s response to the fire.

Later in the discussion, Mr McDonnell told a huge crowd which spilled outside the tent that Labour is “on the edge of a huge victory” and that another election could come any day.

He vowed not only to defeat the Tories in Parliament but “mobilise in every community to demoralise, divide them and force them into a democracy” that will lead to a Labour majority.

A Labour government would then rip up the Trade Union Act in 10 days, he promised.

This video says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn in a rousing speech to masses at Glastonbury Festival 2017 talking about Donald Trump and Theresa May among other issues.

By Will Stone at the Glastonbury festival:

Corbyn draws huge Glastonbury crowds

Monday 26th June 2017

Labour leader cheered to the high heavens at music festival

JEREMY CORBYN drew one of the largest crowds ever at Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage on Saturday, surpassing even headline acts Radiohead and the Foo Fighters.

Introducing him onto the stage, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis said: “At last we have a Labour leader who can put in place all the issues we have been campaigning for for 40 years.”

Supportive flags including one with the words “coalition of chaos” and “Ooh Jeremy Corbyn” beneath a heart shape could be seen among the crowds.

In an inspiring speech he challenged Prime Minister Theresa May: “We’re ready for another election as soon as you like.

The elite commentariat got it wrong. Politics is about the lives of all of us.

“Young people who got involved and voted for the first time, because they’re fed up of being told that their generation is going to have to work more and get paid less.

“Is it right that so many people are without a home and have to live on the streets?

“Is it right that so many people live in such poverty while others are surrounded by riches?

“I don’t want to live in a world where children are going to school hungry.”

Members of the crowd brushed away tears during his speech especially when he spoke about the Grenfell Tower fire which killed at least 79 people.

“Not so long ago we saw Grenfell Tower, a towering inferno in the middle of the richest borough in the country,” he said.

“People living in poverty, living in danger, in a place that simply went up in smoke.

“Not one of those people should have died.

“That fire was wholly and totally preventable.”

He argued the reason the tenants who raised safety concerns were “utterly ignored” is because they were poor and working class.

This video says about itself:

Distrust in Britain’s Media Grows Following Coverage of the Grenfell Tower Fire

24 June 2017

Al Jazeera reports that a tower block fire in London that left dozens dead has channelled rage over class, race, economic and social divisions not only at Prime Minister Theresa May but also at the British media.

When reporters arrived to cover the blaze, local residents expressed anger that the media had not heeded warnings about safety or engaged more closely with issues affecting their communities during years of government austerity. Voices from a neighbourhood in grief demanded to know if only the spectacle of tragedy could make their lives newsworthy.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Austerity kills

Monday 26th June 2017

WERE there sharp intakes of breath when shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Grenfell Tower fire victims were “murdered by political decisions?”

McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn and other political activists, supported by the Morning Star, have been agitating for decades to demand that housing be seen as a human right not a marketable asset.

Council housing was the primary means by which Britain combated the scourge of slum dwellings and destruction of countless homes through aerial bombing during the second world war.

Requisition of land, compulsory purchase, fire regulations and restrictions on the ability of private landlords to gouge rent from tenants for below-standard homes were all part of the postwar housing campaign.

They weren’t seen as dangerous revolutionary fancies, although the desire to rehouse the homeless in modern, sanitary and safe homes certainly had its roots in the left. But even Tory governments in the 1950s boasted of building hundreds of thousands of council homes each year.

Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government unleashed an ideological offensive against council housing in the 1980s, flying her “property-owning democracy” propaganda kite. She encouraged individuals to buy their council homes, while subsequent neoliberal premiers from both major parties pushed the transfer of entire council estates/schemes to housing associations or delegated their running to arm’s length management organisations.

Making savings not human decency became the watchword for managing council housing.

This meant taking out caretakers/concierges from tower blocks, cutting corners on safety and scrimping on the cost of insulation, as the minimal savings achieved through fitting flammable panels rather than flame-proof cladding at Grenfell shows.

Safety warning followed safety warning and complaint followed complaint, but they weren’t taken seriously because the tenants were poor and didn’t warrant extra expenditure, having failed to buy into the capitalist dream.

The Grenfell victims were effectively murdered by heartless political decisions and by the profits-first ethos of capitalism.